tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN July 25, 2011 12:00am-1:00am PDT
> what do you know about tom arnold? his marriage to roseanne barr? >> we were offered $10 million to lose 20 pounds. who could not lose 20 pounds for $10 million? i can think of two fat [ bleep ]. >> a man who's been in more than 100 movies and dozens of tv shows. >> my nickname was gunner. >> palling around with his friend arnold schwarzenegger. >> can he no longer be fun with women in town.
>> tom is a man who can make just about everything funny. tonight he sits down with me for a candid conversation about his battle with various addictions, his brain chemistry changes, cocaine, alcohol, and all those drugs and it didn't give me what i was looking for. >> the roller coaster life. >> i was getting married a bunch. >> tom arnold for the hour. this is "piers morgan tonight." my special guest, tom arnold. tom, you've got a new dvd out, "tom arnold, that's my story and i'm sticking to it." what does if mean? >> they are my points of view on different things and i think it is just a play on that. i talk about i have a certain amount of relationships, maybe about people you know, friends of mine, most of them. >> it is a remarkably candid
thing to watch. you've had quite a life. to put it mildly. haven't you? >> i think if you do stand-up, the kind of stand-up i like, you got to tell the truth and hopefully you've had some interesting things. the saddest things, most painful things, are oftentimes the funniest. so yeah, before i did the special i did some specials in '91, '92, '93, my first hbo specials. i wanted to do some more. so i spent two years going in front of audiences, finding out what they knew about me. i hoped they didn't know everything. you know? but they do. even young people. so i felt like i had to address it in this special an then maybe i can move on from it finally. >> you say the saddest stuff is often the most comic. is there anything about your life that you can't joke about? >> well, i can't think of anything. there are things that are better than others. you know? i think it is hard to find a way to make child abuse funny.
sexual abuse. but i think there's probably a way. think someone could do it. since it happened to me, i own it a little bit. i can direct people where i want and nothing is off-limits. >> let's play a little clip. >> america has got the fattest forepeople on the planet. our forepeople weigh 400 pounds, they smoked four pack of cigarettes a day. i'm not too worried. you go to africa, their poor people look hungry. but we're americans, damn it! >> yes, i'm from iowa. >> you are. but you are considerably smaller than i thought you might be. >> i'm working on it. yeah. people think i'm shortder and fatder. i'm 6'2", 240. they think i'm 300 pounds, 5'6". >> have you had sort of an ongoing battle with your weight.
>> my battle with core is the core of my alcoholism, everything. myself esteem is tied to that. it's been a ballot since i was a kid. >> how are you feeling these days about the way you look? >> i need to lose some weight. i've lost some weight but i need to lose more. i've never been happy. i thought i was fat when i was thin. when i was a kid i was afraid to take my shirt off in front of other kids. when you come from a farming area, that's hard. you get a farmer tan. but i think myself esteem is kautd up in it. >> you worked as a young guy in a meat packing plant in iowa. did you remember that experience well? >> i remember working at hormel really well. i have a lot of friends that still work there. it was hard work. it was a good job. i had insurance and it was the best job to get at that time. it also is a place that has windows. there's a lot of deaths. we killed 5,000 hogs a day.
>> were you a good hog slayer? >> i was. my nickname was gunner. people get very upset about here when i tell them that. but they don't realize where the meat comes from. we try to do it in a humane way. >> people in l.a. are tough. were they eating a bacon sandwich? >> even turkey bacon, they had to kill an animal. but i always said coming from iowa, i'm proud of iowa. but it starts -- you start thinking about things a little bit. i think i've been a little more introspective about my time at the meat-packing plant. i mean, they are animals. >> do you feel guilty? >> probably. yeah. i'm sure. >> do you ever wonder if your life hadn't taken a deviation in stand hup, do you ever wonder if you were still there now? >> well, when i don't feel -- i got fired from hormel. got arrested for pub click nudity in an old folk's home. >> wait! rewind, slow down. you did what?
>> me and mike and mo, still buddies this day, there's nothing to do in our town in iowa after 10:00. they had a strike system in the union, three strikes you're out. i always had two, one would expire. i called in sick for work. party ended at 10:00. i was staying at indian hills community college. on the way back there, let's streak. only things open were the diner and jefferson square manor. we ran through the diner, wasn't anybody there, it didn't satisfy us. we knew the nurses there at jefferson manor. it wasn't the people, they were already asleep. we ran through there, nurses called the police. got arrested, handcuffed behind my back. cold december day. >> what was that moment like? >> terrifying. i said i hope this is funny one day. you're handcuffed. people driving by i've known my whole life. i said i pray this is funny one day and here it's sort of funny. we're talking about my dad come
bail me out of jail naked. >> how do you explain to your father. >> especially my father, jack. very upsite citizen. he had his little son who was crazy. so i put him through a lot of misery. >> the naked hog slayer. >> yes. exactly. >> stand-up. when was the moment you realized this could be a career and not just a bit of fun for you? >> the first time i got offered a paying job, $15, i was in university of iowa and i had done some stand-up. they had an open mike night where you could tell jokes or read a poem. i signed up for it and i loved the response i was getting. somebody said why minneapolis? come up there and i'll give you a job. i packed my stuff in a trash bag, got on a bus with $100. went to the club. thought i got a full time job. they said, no, it's one night for $15. i got scared and i went and i was a bartender down the street. i did whatever i could to support it.
but getting that $15 changed my life. >> you are inexorably linked to roseanne barr. >> i haven't talked to her face-to-face in almost 18 years. >> she's on twitter. i communicate with her on twitter. do you ever? >> no. she does two tweets that are interesting. >> do you follow her on twitter? >> no. but maybe i i should. >> maybe it can bring you back together. through twitter. >> yeah, it would take twitter, it would take a lot. i'm very happy for her. i'm happy she has a new show. i hope people watch it. i want her to succeed. i'm grateful to her. i talk about her in my stand hup but it is so long ago that it seems odd. she did e-mail me in december with being start e-mailing me out of the blue. random. i hadn't heard from her in many years. i showed ashley, my wife, and she let me write her back and
every other e-mail was really mean so it reminded me! she can't help it. my thing is i got to be a stepfather for five years because of her. that is the best thing that's ever happened to me -- until now. ashley and i are planning our family. and that taught me a lot. it got mow sober. is all under her watch. if i hadn't had somebody in my corner like her, i'd be dead. >> you were two irrepressible life forces when you met, two outrageous front-of-stage stand-ups who collided. it was probably destined to end in tears but i would imagine for a while it must have been electrifying. wasn't it? >> it was great fun because we met in 1983. i was 23 years old. she lived in denver, she wasn't famous at the time and she came to minneapolis to perform. we hit. off, eliked each other's act and there was something there. we were friends for a few years which we should have stayed. when people talk about ashley, my wife, was 7 when i met
roseanne. it was fun. watching her career go, i was so proud of her. >> i were like the comic version of brangelina. every magazine splashing every detail of your alleged lives and real lives and were you leading this crazy existence together. didny part of you miss that kind of chi yachtic exciting, you're center stage? >> i'm sure the alcoholic part of me, the self-destructive part of me misses it. but if we hadn't played into so much of that, she and i, we wouldn't be talking about it today. but we participated in that. so we're responsible for a lot of that craziness. we're not victims. the thing when i hear people talk about, it's so terrible, people were -- looked down on me and i couldn't do anything. well, you got $150 million from your show. shut up and be happy. >> get over it. >> yeah.
>> when you go past a newsstand, do you wish, oh, i wish they were putting me on the cover again? >> like i say, there's that voice inside of me, not a happy voice been that does. >> the bad boy. >> we literally were on there every week. to keep that up, you've got to do a lot of crazy you have stuff. and we did. >> pressure to keep going! >> yeah. what can we reveal about ourselves, our intimate selves. it was too much as a couple. i knew it was coming one day. everyone in her life she literally cut off. one of the head writers said that when i hired him, i said this job's going to last about two years, then you'll be let go. i'll take care of you financially but i know one day i will be let go also. so i think i probably kind of knew it. but it was sure fun -- her career just went through the roof and it was fun to be part of that.
and to be important in her life. i felt that way. i felt i had to help keep her initial vision on the show. because she even changed. my job at "roseanne" was to say no, you're not going to wrestle steven segall on a train. >> i know she watches this show a lot because she tweets it a lot. >> she will he be watching today. >> exactly. what would you say if she's watching. >> i'd say good luck with your show. i've said thank you to her many times. she seems like her life is alling to together now. i'm very happy, if you care. and i'm glad things worked out the way she did. >> you think she'll be pleased you're happy. >> part of her, no. but i think deep down, i'm sure. >> we'll take a little break. when we come back we'll -- >> we're not going to only talk about "roseanne" today. >> the genie's out of the bottle. we'll talk about arnold schwarzenegger after the break. your friend.
frankly, it is going to be great. we're going to take the terrorists, beat the crap out of them, you're going to feel a lot petter. watch your head. watch your head. all right. women. can't live with them, can't kill them. >> the one and only tom arnold in the blockbuster movie "true lies." your old friend arnold schwarzenegger. >> yeah. yeah. he's a good man. >> you're great friends with limb. i know he's been hinting there might be a remake of that great film which was a huge hit. tell me about arnold. he's been through a really shattering few months. i've known him not as well as you but i've always liked him very much. what do you make of what's going on? >> you have to understand he grew up much like me in a small town in austria in his case and i think that's what we bond on. he respects that.
coming from somewhere and doing something. he's very charitable. he's -- this has been tough because our relationship is based on a lot of humor and to find humor in all this has been hard. i'm just his friend. unconditionally just like he's been for me at the worst times in my life. so anything i can do for him -- i love maria and the kids obviously. hopefully this thing gets better for him. >> were you as stunned as everybody else? >> yeah. yeah. obviously people don't share -- people don't share a lot of things with me. if they're using drugs or they're getting wasted or that, you don't necessarily share it with me. and i kind of appreciate that. if he'd have told me, you know, i've been there for him. we have an unconditional friendship. >> did you speak to him a little about this? >> about what? >> about what's going on. >> you see each other, you say how are you?
>> you see in your own life, the saddest stuff often makes the best material. at what point can you crack about this. >> the only joke i can crack is he can no longer make fun of the women i've been with. but he knows you got to make a joke one day. this happened and people close to him figure out what do we say? and he's got a pretty thick skin. >> how is he dealing with it on a human level? you become a kind of soap opera star when this kind of thing happens. just personally as a guy, a friend of yours, how is he dealing with it. >> he's always been tough about that. he doesn't want anyone to think he's in pain or when he's broke his limbs, he always plays it up a little bit. think this is the same. he doesn't want to be a burden on his friends or people in general and that's probably the biggest -- toughest thing about this is that people are like,
oh, my gosh, i'm so sorry. i doesn't want to be that guy. i know deep down inside he's feeling all of this. obviously he is. but he doesn't share that with people. i can see a little bit -- of course, he's a human being and of course, it is tough. but i think he wants to move on. >> there is this talk of the remake. is that a go? >> i think it is a go. it may not be the next movie he does but we'll eventually do it. >> you've been talking about it? >> absolutely. it's been 17 years and i'm not giving up on it. i love -- if you work with people that you love, like him, jim cameron, obviously you want to do that again an again and again. for 17 years i've been talking about it and we're still talking about it and that's good enough for me now. >> people get very judgmental when these scandals break. unless you don't know the person concerned.
what kind of a man is arnold schwarzenegger? >> i think arnold's a great man. i think everybody makes mistakes. we're human beings. i'm not saying anything he did is a mistake but he's a great man. he's very -- i learned a lot about myself being of service to other people with the inner city games that he started. he always said my movie work is equally important with my service work. my charity work. if people don't realize that, then they can't and part of me. he's going around and he's working on the environment with jim cameron and doing things that are a little bit bigger outside of the movie business. the movie business is a job and he does enjoy the hell out of it. but there's other things that he cares about and he's done an amazing job. >> you think he has physical aspirations or is that pretty well dead in the water? >> i don't know. i would guess it is pretty much dead in the water. he always wants to be on some committee or heading a committee or doing something about this or doing something about that.
helping people eat. >> he has this incredible energy and is he a very good, fun guy, smart and everything else. i really like him. >> he's hilarious. >> do you feel because of that, because politics has now been shut down really for him, that the movies, which is what propelled him really into the stratosphere, that that may be the love again for him, that he may just go back to that? >> absolutely. i mean he did the political thing. he was governor for two terms. he did that. he's been the president's committee on physical fitness. he's done all that stuff. now he wants to have some fun and make some movies and people hopefully will remember him for that. >> as a stand-up comedian, do you like making movies or is this process torture? because on a stage you walk out, there's loads of people, you get instant reaction from an audience and walk off an hour and a half later with a big check in your pockets. movies, it's three months filming, six months editing, promotion, the whole rest of it. it might just bomb overnight. a torturous process.
>> and it is monotonous. some directors have you do things 20 or 30 times in a row. if you started in comedy, that's rough because you wear out. but in the end, if you're working with great people, i just did a movie with dax shepherd and barry cooper and kristin bell, every day it was something different for those guys and fun. i see the joy of somebody like bradly cooper has to be there. just so happy to be in the moment and i want to get some of that. i've done about 100 movies and i want it still to be fun for me. >> you've done 100 movies. >> yeah. >> which is your favorite? >> i love "true lies" because what have it did personally. >> the biggest turkey? the one you don't like to talk about in civilized company? >> the financier's girlfriend played the lead. i took it, it was a job. i don't turn down much,
trying to remember if i had met you. >> now my special guest, tom arnold. tom, you have been there, you've done it, you've sniffed it, you've drunk it. you've led the party life. >> sniffed it. drug addicts never sniff anything. no, i have a lot of war stories, i have done -- i took everything, alcohol, drugs, street drugs, you know, to the max. i mean, there is nothing that i'm not addicted to. whether it be work or -- you know, food is a big issue all the time. >> you and charlie sheen go back a long way. when you were at your peak, apparently, who could out-party the other? >> charlie is a private partier. at least from what i can tell, he holes up in his cave. that's the impression i get. i can't imagine anybody doing more drugs than i did and living, and you know, especially with cocaine. and your resistance to these drugs.
>> there's recreational drug taking and there's addiction. at your worst, what are we talking in terms of consumption? >> of about a half ounce a day of cocaine. >> really? >> it's crazy. and i'm so grateful to be alive. and i don't know why i am. >> did you remember how that made you feel? >> i will tell you this. the first time i tried cocaine, it made me feel great. it was in probably 1984. and then every time after that i tried to get that feeling of the first time, and i was chasing it, and at the end, in 1989, every time i did cocaine, i felt paranoid, depressed, and i -- i lied to myself and said i'll get back to that place you were a few years ago, but it doesn't happen. your brain chemistry changes, cocaine, alcohol, all those drugs. and it didn't give me what i was looking for. >> do you drink? >> i haven't had a drink since 1988. >> do you ever get tempted? >> i watch normal people having a couple of drinks. my wife and her friends, and i
wonder what that's like. i know what that's like. i have 100 drinks. literally 20 drinks, get wasted, black out, get in a fight. do all that stuff. i know where that goes. i remember. it's fresh, it's horrible. and i remember waking up the next day, the shame and the guilt. that's exactly what happened. i know -- i tried to -- i went to my first 12-step meeting in 1986 and it took me until 1989 to get sober. so i know. i've tried every way possible, just drinking beer, wine, it doesn't work for me. >> for a long time, was it hard to give up things that were quite a bit of fun? >> i have regrets of how i acted when i was using drugs and alcohol. i have a lot of amends to make to people. people i had relationships with in the past, in iowa and the midwest. and i was -- i did some very top-notch women and they helped
me a lot, and i wasn't a good boyfriend. >> you had a very tough upbringing, and you suffered this child abuse from a male babysitter. your mother was married seven times. clearly a pretty chaotic domestic scenario there. how much of what went on there do you think determined how you became in your early adulthood? >> relationshipwise if your mom leaves when you are 4, anything is possible. so you know that. in the back of your mind, start going bad in a relationship, she's leaving. if my mom left, anybody could leave. so my first three marriages lasted four years, my mom left when i was 4. i mean, something i've really looked at and worked on with ashley. i don't want to -- all my chips are on the table this time. i think i always held a little something back and that was a detriment to those relationships and also the women i was with. so i'm not doing that with ashley now, and hopefully for the best. >> what happened to the abuser? >> well, after i got sober -- you spin through things and you
work on things, and i started really dealing with it 20, 21 years ago and i located him. he had moved from ottumwa to des moines. i found out where he worked. he ran a business, big church leader. because they don't quit, by the way. they say they do one -- they do 250 kids. i went back to my old neighborhood. he done it to his own brothers, a lot of kids. a lot of people don't like to talk about it, they mistakenly think it's a homosexual thing. it's obviously not. you're a victim of this man. so i went, i found him. i worked with my therapist. i wanted to confront him, i didn't want to kill him or get arrested again. the guy hurt me enough, right? i found him, showed up where he worked. he's like oh, my gosh. and right in front of everybody, and i gave him back the pain and shame he caused me as a kid. >> what did you do? >> i just said what i had to say. he came towards me and put his finger in my chest, your memories are wrong, which tells me he has been confronted
before. where you come up with that. he hadn't seen me in many years. at first i was scared, i will tell you that. i felt like the 4-year-old. i remember, oh, my god, he was more violent than i thought. he would take me in his back room to play "the game." you know? the reason i didn't tell my father is because he gave me a candy bar at the end. like a big candy bar and my dad didn't want me eating sugar because of my -- look at me. and so -- plus, i didn't know what it was. you don't know what sex is if you're a kid. so i confronted him, and then, you know, as he came towards me, i realized, wait, i'm a grown man, i'm not that kid, and i grabbed his arm and i went back home. >> did you hit him? >> no, i didn't hit him. but i -- i went -- immediately to the governor of iowa's office, it's down the road, and i said you got to do something about this guy. he's about to adopt another boy. which i found out. he said, tom, you're not here. you can't tell me. that's a federal offense you're asking me to do.
get out of here, go back to california. i said, but i'm worried about this kid. he's growing his own victims. i got a call from my brother. the adoption had fallen through, some kind of paperwork thing. i don't know what the governor did, but i appreciate it. and i said what about the kids in his neighborhood now? i had my farm hands, six blocks around the house, put up posters of the guy, his name, his face, his crimes. kid-high on every, you know, pole. >> did he bring you any kind of closure? >> absolutely. because up until then, and i didn't want to admit it every time i went back to ottumwa and was at mall or something, i am going to see this guy, and he has a secret over me, some kind of weird power over me. i didn't want it to happen in front of people and didn't want to have someone i was beholden to because he raped me when i was a kid. i didn't want that to be -- he had already done, so by confronting him, exposing him. i went on oprah and she said don't say the name. okay.
but let's call him blank and i said the name right in the camera. because i wanted everybody to know. and i think i did -- i did the best i could do. i'm not ashamed. how could i be? but i was before that. i will tell you that. i was. >> of course. going to have a break and come back and talk about how you got yourself back on your feet. how you cleaned yourself up and why. and a bit more charlie sheen. you can never have enough charlie sheen.
that was arnold. you've been sober for more than two decades and more than that, you've become an activist for other hollywood types who have fallen off the rail, including charlie sheen. >> it just so happens i work with hollywood. people have reached out to me. obviously i wouldn't be soeb fer it wasn't for the friends i had. in the beginning and even now. hol swood a bad place for drugs and alcohol but it is also a great place for recovery. there's a lot of recovery here, a lot of meetings an a lot of help. it feels good to help people. obviously ss a selfish thing, i help them, i feel good about myself.
it always comes back, when you need it the most, down on yourself -- you say wait a minute, i actually do some nice things, okay, i may be okay. >> what was the best advice you got in terms of cleaning yourself up? who gave it to you in. >> the best advice was to make it the priority of my day every day above my relationship witness above my career. that should be number one priority. you say, well, i can't -- what about my marriage? no, if i'm not sober then i don't have a marriage. that's the best advice to make it a priority and work on it every day and never assume you got it licked because you never do. you got it licked for maybe today and that's all that -- all those slogans, one day at a time, all that time, that means something. >> who gave you that advice? >> i'm grateful to my ex-wife for supporting me to make myself get in the cab and go to rehab and check myself in. if i didn't have someone who cared about me at that time, i don't mow. but i immediately got into some
men's groups that have been great comfort to me. there's something about men being together and sharing honestly about these intimate things and rigorously honest. the humor that comes from that. it is just things like that that have made my life a lot better. >> when you see someone like charlie go through what he's been the last few months, what's your view watching from afar? >> well, you know, i love charlie. as you know, i saw i interview him, very sweet guy. i reached out to help him. because at the time he said no one's calling. whatever. whatever. i thought he might be in that scary place where you feel like you're abandoned by world. if you know charlie, he reached out to a lot of other people when he was rolling in sobriety and helped other people, including people he worked with on the show. so i said, if he's the kind of guy that always helps people,
maybe ill adjust let him know i'm here. he knows where i am. >> i'm told you got a reaction by someone close to charlie. >> i tried to do it way back in '88. i said i had just gotten out of rehab in 1990. i wanted everybody to be sober. you come out fired up. 30 days of sobriety and i knew everything! i knew charlie was struggling with stuff and had heard some stories, had seen him. i called his agent and said i need to help, do an intervention. he said whoa, whoa, whoa. interventions don't go well sometimes. i'm not risking losing. we make way too much for him. so nobody would help me on it. that's the immorality of everywhere. hollywood, absolutely. i'm sure it is like that on wall street. >> particularly hollywood because there are so many people whose own lives and careers and
incomes depend on the celebrity. >> well, maybe so. but if i called -- if i said i know some kid we're going to intervene on in the city, they'd drop everything right now. no questions asked. obviously if it was even charlie, it would be easier to get help. they don't always go well. i've done interventions on people that just hate me for five years, then maybe get it down the line. it is a risk. i do an intervention on a director and it goes bad, he's never going to hire me. he doesn't want to think i'll spy on him or tell he's using. which i would never do. i just want them to know there is an option out there and people care. >> what was the catalyst to stop for you? what in the end made you stop? >> there was a night and i was trying to get in the gate and i was so messed up and i couldn't remember the code. turned out it was my birth date. but i was driving up and down the canyons and finally i see my ex-wife come down the driveway, get out of the car, let me in. i think she's going to hit me.
she always hit -- i deserve it, i'm a scumbag. she came up and give me a hug and said i just want you to come home. that broke through all of my craziness and all of the disease and i was suddenly -- felt very sober. a moment of clarity. i said i got to tell you a story. i lied the whole time. i can't stop. we were about to get married. i thought i could stop at the bachelor party. i'll be using at the wedding, forever. i surrendered that. she's like, you can't live here. goit in a cab and checked myself in. >> does charlie have anyone around him that can give him that hug? >> you know, he's lost a lot this year. but he's still got a lot. sometimes we need to lose everything. for me anyway. i don't know what his situation is. it would be weird --
>> think about charlie that's so fascinating, he gave up the highest paid job on television. he played the brinkmanship with these guys. no one's ever done that before. nobody would do it on the way down. but for him he was the king of television. >> but i think if he'd have known what he knows now he wouldn't have done that. i think he was doing it originally for the sake of comedy, calling people trolls or doing this. but people -- they backed the writer in this case. in the old days the writer would have been out and the star, when i started in this business. but they back the writer. >> ashton kutcher is replacing him 2 "two and a half men." >> it is always going to be charlie's show. i root for ashton, too, but it is sad. >> when we come back i want to talk to you about marriage. >> oh, good. >> how you finally cracked it.
woman! listen, i'm in san bernardino staying at the hilton this weekend. >> is that true, you didn't take any money? does that annoy you there is that perception. >> yeah, it still does. look it up, it is public record. but it is funny. i think she likes to talk about it and whatever. what i took from that marriage, a lot of things better than money. so i'm grateful. >> you obviously made a lot of money over the years. have you managed to, despite all the partying and extravagance, retain enough to be pretty comfortable the rest of your life? >> well, if i had continued partying obviously i wouldn't have anything. i have to work. no, i absolutely have to work. maybe that's the best thing for me. i don't have that fuel money that people talk about. i actually have to get up and work. >> you have a very impressive watch. >> i know. you gave that to me.
very nice. very nice. one frt perks of the job. has money ever brought you much happiness,in' test. every time there's a celebrity divorce they always have this list. mel gibson's wife got $650 million. tiger woods' wife whatever. i give a couple back things back in iowa that we funded but i definitely have to work and i want to -- i'm always -- it's probably because i'm from iowa i have to get up every day and figure out a way to make money. >> you've got a successful marriage now, one that's working and making you happy. what did you learn about marriage and how to make it work? >> for me, i didn't have a template because my parents were not married.
very long. >> that was probably the last thing you'd ever want, someone who got married seven times. >> i didn't want to be an alcoholic or get married a bunch. i wanted to be like my dad. solid citizen. been married second marriage 40 some years. but i was on the path of being my mother, obviously. i was -- i am an alcoholic, and i was getting married a bunch. what i've learned is, ashley, she likes me. you know, she likes me a lot. we have a great time. >> that's a good start, i think. >> that is a good start. but it wasn't always there with me. i felt like they would like me if i could show off and then i didn't have to work on the relationship. i'll go, make movies in canada for a year and then show up. things go very bad when you do that. and, you know, i have to work on my marriage. it's right after my sobriety every day. >> and do you think you'll have more childreny is that on the horizon. >> i don't have any children yet and ashley and i are working on it. >> you never had a child. >> no, as a stepfather for five years but i've never had children. >> is that something that you'd like to do now.
>> yeah, we'd like to do that. that's what we're working on. in a weird way i'm grateful i didn't go through divorce with children because i see how tough it is for people sometimes. so i'm lucky. >> do you think you'd be a good father? >> i hope so, yeah. >> given all you've learned about life. >> yeah, i'm older is the thing so it's got to happen soon so i can play with the kid and catch. >> a short break and talk to you about who you think are the funniest people in america.
talking to tom arnold. asked you before the break, who are the funniest people in america, do you think? >> well -- >> who makes you laugh out loud? >> i liked -- sounds crazy but i liked bob hope a lot when i moved out here because my dad used to laugh at him, get home from work late and i could hear him and my dad howling laughing so when i got to a bob hope special, that was a big thing. robin williams is, you know -- he's always funny. richard pryor is the funniest guy in the history and then -- >> is richard pryor the stand-up stand-up? is he the guy that all stand-ups revere? >> he is. >> it seems to me. why was he so special?
>> because he dealt with the harshest stuff with drug addiction, with horrible injuries that happened to him. he could deal with anything and absolutely make it brilliantly funny and everybody's tried to live up to him but nobody can. >> what are you up to now? what are you working on? >> just finishing a movie that -- dax sheppard, the funniest man in america now directing with bradley cooper, as i said, playing a bad guy and working -- movie stuff, i'm on the road. i'm in peer or ya in august and west palm beach. come out and see the show. >> i would love to see your show. i really would. it's been a real pleasure to meet you. you're involved also in independent films. >> that's the most fun. the big blockbusters are great but to do these independent films they'll let me be the bad guy and john malkovich be the good guy. that doesn't happen in regular hollywood.
>> given your often outrageous life, if i could give you five minutes to relive one moment in your life and it couldn't be wives or children, what would it be? >> i would probably be more careful with my career in the '90s, you know, instead of taking a lot of things -- >> that's not ray moment. i'm talking about a specific thing that happened to you, if you had the chance -- >> oh could i stop the guy from molesting me. if i could stop that, if i would never have started using cocaine it would have saved me, you know -- >> you would use it more as an anti-negative thing where you would say i would stop bad things happening to me. >> yeah, because i hate to admit it but a lot of good things have happened to me. >> what's been the greatest? the single greatest thing. >> i would say -- i don't mean to sound cliche but my marriage to ashley. i quit the marriage thing. i didn't have any hope. >> thought it was all over.